Scoliosis causes a sideways curve of your backbone, or spine. These curves are often S- or C-shaped. Scoliosis is most common in late childhood and the early teens, when children grow fast. Girls are more likely to have it than boys. It can run in families. Symptoms include leaning to one side and having uneven shoulders and hips. Sometimes it is easy to notice, but not always.
Children may get screening for scoliosis at school or during a checkup. If it looks like there is a problem, your doctor will use your medical and family history, a physical exam, and imaging tests to make a diagnosis. Treatment depends on your age, how much more you're likely to grow, how much curving there is, and whether the curve is temporary or permanent. People with mild scoliosis might only need checkups to see if the curve is getting worse. Others might need to wear a brace or have surgery.
NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Diagnosis and Tests
- X-Ray Exam: Scoliosis (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (Scoliosis Research Society)
- Genetics Home Reference: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: horizontal gaze palsy with progressive scoliosis (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: spondylocostal dysostosis (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Scoliosis (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Limited correction of lumbar lordosis in the treatment of degenerative scoliosis.
- Article: Posterior Correction of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis with High-Density Pedicle Screw-Only Constructs:...
- Article: Clinical and radiological outcomes of minimally-invasive surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis...
- Scoliosis -- see more articles